Lawmakers with enhanced carry permits that also notify the Highway Patrol—which provides security at the Capitol—at least 24 hours in advance may now carry concealed during the 2020 legislative session, the first since the bill’s passage.
SB115 (2019) passed by votes of 20-13 and 44-19 in the state Senate and House of Representatives, respectively. Gov. Kristi Noem signed the bill into law on March 18, 2019, and it went into effect on July 1 of the same year.
State Sen. Jim Stalzer, who sponsored the bill, said he felt that it “gave lawmakers and state government employees a chance to defend themselves if someone attacks,” according to AP News.
State Rep. Dayle Hammock, a former law enforcement officer, said he estimated that six to 10 legislators would be carrying this legislative session. He also plans to teach other legislators about how to carry safely.
South Dakota joins a growing number of states that allow at least some law-abiding citizens to carry concealed in its Capitol. This change stands in stark contrast to the decision made by Virginia legislators to ban the carry of all firearms from Capitol buildings.
“This majority, bought and paid for by Michael Bloomberg, will stop at nothing to cast your right of self-defense aside. This is just the first step as they make their way down Bloomberg’s wish-list,” reported the NRA Institute for Legislative Action.